ZAMBIA recorded an increase in tourist arrivals last week as a result of Zimbabwe’s post-election violence that left six people dead.
According to immigration sources at Kazungula and Victoria Falls border posts, many tourists, mainly backpackers, crossed the borders fearing an escalation of the violence in the neighbouring country following the July 30 elections.
“We were partially overwhelmed by tourist arrivals as a result of the violence that erupted in Zimbabwe following the general and
presidential elections. Many said that they feared for their lives and opted to cross into Zambia,” the immigration source said.
As for Kazungula, the source said tourists crossed into Zambia via the Zimbabwe-Kasane border.
“We saw an increase in the number of tourists crossing into Zambia at Kazungula after having crossed into Botswana from Zimbabwe, and many requested for about seven days stay in Zambia. We overheard others advising their friends to avoid transiting into Botswana or Zambia
using the Zimbabwean routes from South Africa,” the immigration source
However, World News/Travel Wire News, an online tourism bulletin, quoted Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) chief executive Karikoga Kaseke assuring tourists that the country remains a safe tourist destination despite the violence.
He said the country remains calm as the skirmishes were limited to the Harare Central Business District, while other parts of the country were peaceful.
“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like to inform all valued tourists from both the domestic and international markets that notwithstanding the post-election violence witnessed on 01 August 2018 in the capital city Harare, Zimbabwe remains a safe destination for any travel,” said Kaseke.
“We would like to urge all travellers to Zimbabwe and those currently in the country to conduct their business deals as the situation is back to normal. Leisure travellers are therefore happily advised to stay calm and enjoy their experience in this our Zimbabwe – A World of Wonders.”